Friday, January 01, 2016

Ending the Day with a Grateful Heart

grateful, thankful, thanks, thank you, 
thank God, appreciate, praise, much obliged, blessed, 
merci, gracias, merci beaucoup.

What's the origin of The Gratitude Journal? An interview on Oprah maybe, but the origin isn't as important as what you and I will do with the idea. Today, January 1, 2016, is a perfect time to commence keeping a gratitude journal.

My plan is to write a list of 5 things for which I'm grateful in a special journal at the end of each day. 

"Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one's voice. Joseph B. Wirthlin

Cards from my Anti-Depression Box
Greeting Card Gratitude Journal
Various ideas have gelled into my plan for the journal itself. Many people use a desk calendar but I'm going to use old greeting cards that I've received and saved for years. I jokingly call my card collection "my anti-depression box", reading them again whenever I feel a bit blue and am in need of comfort. There are 273 cards in my box, not counting Christmas cards. And now I have an even better way to give them new life... as the pages of a colorful, meaningful journal. 

There's plenty of white space on most of the cards where I can add my daily gratitudes, and I can glue a piece of paper into those with no writing space at all.  Each card has space for 2 to 5 lists of my 5 dailies, and the huge bonus is that it will be like having conversations with the family, friends and students who once sent these dear cards. 

I'll include new cards as they arrive, and when the completed cards reach a certain thickness I'll bind the cards chronologically into a book, probably with a coil binding or maybe just a hole punched in the corner, held together with a book ring.

"Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe." Wayne Dyer

Postcards as Gratitude Journal

Postcards could be bound into a journal. I have lots of blank postcards, some handmade, some from travels, some purchased and never used. I was thinking of tossing them because I rarely send postcards (duh! that's why I have so many in that drawer) but why not make them into a gratitude journal?

"Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude."  Nick Vujicic

Index Cards as Gratitude Journal

Buy a stack of index cards, make a simple or on one side and write your list of gratitudes on the reverse.  

"When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in." Kristin Armstrong.

Rolodex as Gratitude Journal

Use your old Rolodex, that one you no longer use because your contacts are on your phone now, or buy a used one at a thrift store. Use it the same way, art on one side, thankfulness list on the other side. 

It's amazing how viewing the world with gratitude lifts one's spirits.

But really, dear reader, the structure of the journal doesn't matter as much as ending the day with a grateful heart.
  1. My bird wind chime reminds me to be thankful that I had a loving mother who once owned it. 
  2. I'm glad I hung onto all those greeting cards and for those who sent them.
  3. Thanks for the idea of setting Bright Lines like my new one: Eat no sugar, ever.
  4. I'm grateful that I can use the Blogger platform free where I can post my ramblings.
  5. I'm thankful for all the people who read my blog.   Jo Reimer, 1/1/16
If you want to send me a card:   Jo Reimer, PO Box 91340, Portland, OR 97291.

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